This is the very true story behind the poem Diamonds on the Water
I sat on the pier that day looking out into the unquiet ocean, watching as the waves jutted up into the air, stabbing the sky. It seemed so angry to me, as if at any moment the water would rise covering the land. On that cold and windy day my life unraveled. The quiet perfection of my everyday had given way to chaos. I sat on the bench examining all the decisions leading to that moment. Alone, I cried in silence, hoping, praying that something might change, but nothing was going to save me from a failed marriage, the loss of a dear friend, and the emptiness consuming my soul.
The loneliness I felt was amplified by the empty pier. The ocean was too choppy for any ship, the day too cold and windy for any normal beachgoer. I sat on the bench…alone. The world looked as harsh and unforgiving as it felt. I stood, walking to the railing at the edge of the pier. Looking down into the cold, dark water, I wondered what it would be like to jump in. The same thoughts swam through my mind again and again. Was it really that cold? Would I sink when my thick jacket became waterlogged? Would anyone miss me?
Nearing twilight, the darkness closed in on me. My tears, once slowly dropping, began pouring down my cheeks.
Just jump, I thought. No one’s going to miss me. As I leaned ever farther over the railing, I watched the water dance. Its graceful fluidity was mesmerizing. Something in the water called to me.
A heavy gust hit the pier rocking me forward. My body lurched towards the water as I threw my hands out to grab the wooden rail. No one was near to hear my scream or pull me back. Surely I would plummet to the ocean, pulled away by the tide.
No one knows, I thought. I hadn’t told a soul where I planned to spend the day. In this isolation, my choice seemed so clear. There was nothing left to do but let go.
That’s when I first saw them. Glimmering specks floating on the water just off the pier. I glanced towards the horizon watching the clouds part. Golden rays blanketed the ocean. The light glowing on the peeks of the waves grew brighter and brighter nearly blinding me. I wrapped a leg around one of the posts steadying myself. Leaning back, I gazed in wonder at the treasure of light before me.
Diamonds, I thought. The water was covered with thousands of diamonds. They were bobbing and dancing as the waves rolled. There was something about the light that held me captive. The rhythmic bobbing was soothing. I felt a sense of peace as warmth washed over my body.
It hit me like the waves of icy wind bombarding the pier. There, on the deep cerulean blue waters, I found a treasure shining brightly in the cold, in the darkness, in the emptiness consuming the world; more accurately, consuming my world. How could I have missed them? The diamonds floating on the everyday waters of my life. Like twinkling stars in the clear night sky the faces of my children, my family, and friends appeared before me. The world began to glow, even on this cold, windy day.
I travel back to those dark waters whenever the everyday becomes unbearable. They remind me of that faithful –or faithless– moment when I nearly made the worst decision of my life. My diamonds never fail to bring peace and warmth flooding back into my heart. A soul renewed by the divine light cast from the Diamonds on the Water.